Kirschner Medical Corp. to cut maufacturing operations here Medical goods finishing work to move to N.J.

May 10, 1991|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,Evening Sun Staff wXB

Kirschner Medical Corp., struggling to cut its costs and debt, plans to phase out most of its manufacturing in Maryland and move its Timonium headquarters to another location in the Baltimore area.

The company currently has about 30 employees at a 77,000-square-foot facility on Aylesbury Road in Timonium. The plant manufacturers veterinary products and finishes and polishes medical goods made in New Jersey. The firm also maintains a headquarters staff of about 50 in offices on Deereco Road in Timonium.

The manufacturing plant will be phased out and sold over the next few months, said C. Scott Harrison, the company's chairman. Administration and some sales will be consolidated at a new location, probably in the Timonium area, Harrison said. The veterinary-product manufacturing, with a handful of employees, also will remain in the area, he said.

The rest of the manufacturing is to be shifted to plants in Fairlawn, N.J., and Valencia, Spain. An undetermined number of the employees will be offered transfers to New Jersey, Harrison said.

The company's total employment in Maryland will drop from about 120 to 95. Its world-wide employment now stands at about 540 people, including 160 in Spain.

"We would like to do it in an orderly fashion over the next few months," Harrison said.

Moving the finishing operations closer to the plant where the products are made will be more efficient, he said. The company also moved its international sales headquarters from Timonium to Europe earlier this year.

The Aylesbury Road plant, which was underutilized, will be sold, he said.

"We don't expect any impact on our ability to provide product and there should be significant savings," Harrison said.

After several years of rapid growth, Kirschner suffered $20 million in losses in the last two years. It has sold a money-losing division and changed management in hopes of improving its results this year, Harrison said.

The company is also negotiating to restructure its crippling debt with Maryland National Bank. Harrison said those talks are proceeding "satisfactorily."

"I think Kirschner has an exciting future; it's one that still has some problems, but we are addressing them," he said.

The company posted a profit from continuing operations of $670,000, or 27 cents a share, in the first quarter of the year, compared with $487,000 or 20 cents in the same period last year.

Kirschner makes orthopedic products, such as replacement hips and surgical video systems, and other medical equipment.

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